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WNZ Open Season: 2016 HOF Class Thoughts

WWE
Now that the 2016 Hall of Fame class is pretty much set (as of Monday morning, waiting to see a celebrity announced), I felt it was worth discussing the class as a whole.

I had two words come to mind, and I think both could be applicable depending on your perspective. And for this Open Season, I am going to look at it from both, and then open things up to our readers to chime in. So with that said, here are the words that I linked to this class.

Underwhelming. Or Underrated.

Quite a bit of difference between the two, I don’t deny that. So let’s dive in, shall we?

Underwhelming comes up because none of the inductees going in had tremendous success in WWE, as measured by titles, or by being a headlining act. Sting achieved his fame almost entirely in WCW, with of course some success in TNA. WWE is inducting him based on his WCW body of work, since they of course own what was WCW. So that’s fine and dandy, but again, Sting wrestled only a handful of matches actually in WWE and never won a championship while in WWE proper. I don’t deny that he had a great career, but his name is not synonymous with WWE. That same logic applies to Stan Hansen and the Fabulous Freebirds, too. Jacqueline, Big Boss Man and The Godfather had nice runs with the company, but comparing them to the secondary inductees from prior years, and it just feels underwhelming to me.

Underrated comes up because I think could apply here. You have arguably the greatest singles wrestler to have not won a WrestleMania match in Sting, a multi-time WCW and TNA champion (I know the HOF only cares about WCW, but it’s still what he accomplished). You have perhaps one of the most influential wrestling groups/tag teams in the last half century in the Freebirds. And you have someone who was such an impressive Diva that she also won a men’s singles championship at one point. And that’s not even giving credit to the Godfather, who also was saddled with such interesting gimmicks as Papa Shango and Kama.

In the end, I think how this class will be perceived depends a lot on how Saturday goes. Right now, I am leaning more toward underwhelming, as in spite of his credentials, Sting feels like a bit of a down note compared to previous headliners. I fully admit that this is largely likely because of my WWE bias, as when I grew up I rarely caught WCW as it was only on TBS and I maybe saw it a few times a year when at a friends, or if I decided to rent a VHS tape (remember those days?). Most of what I saw of Sting came from Nitro and beyond, and while he still was great in those days, I did miss a lot of his career, and the vast majority of it happened outside of WWE. I look at past headliners like Savage, Warrior, Foley and HBK, and I can only presume that it feels off to me because of his lack of WWE time. Looking at the secondary group, I look at past names like Jake Roberts, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, and those feel so much better than Boss Man and The Godfather. And while Jacqueline was good, she gets lost in the group of women like Lita, Trish Stratus, Chyna, Sable and the like.

I may change my tune come and I have to imagine Sting is going to give an excellent speech-but right now, I can’t say I am overly wowed by the Class of 2016.

WNZ readers, how do you feel about this class?

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  • SKAWT HAUL #LASTCALL

    Whelp, it is what it is I suppose. It is very underwhelming, and im truly only watching because of how much of a train wreck these speeches usually are. Also,because I want to see who shows up.

  • Si Nicholls

    I like it but only because of growing up watching WCW due to WWF not being free tv in the UK at that time, Sting was the man from “American Wrestling” also when I eventually got to see WWF Papa Shango was one of the 1st performers I saw.

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